Down a judge, Germantown is considering a temporary replacement

By , Daily Memphian Updated: August 03, 2022 3:18 PM CT | Published: August 03, 2022 3:18 PM CT

A new face may soon be sitting on the bench presiding over matters in Germantown Municipal Court.

Judge Raymond Clift Jr. is guaranteed a new 8-year term as he runs unopposed for his position on the Thursday, Aug. 4 ballot. However, Clift is on a temporary leave of absence, according to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen agenda Germantown published Wednesday. Next Monday, the board will consider naming Kevin Patterson to serve as judge temporarily pending Clift’s return.

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Judge Robert Brannon — also running unopposed in Thursday’s election — has been a frequent presence Germantown Municipal Court lately.

“Judge Brannon has been filling in more, doing double duty until Clift’s return,” City Administrator Jason Huisman explained.

In conversations with Brannon, city leaders asked if they could have Patterson sit in to help reduce Brannon’s responsibilities. The move is allowed by the city charter.

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“In the temporary absence or inability of a city judge, the board shall appoint a qualified person to serve until the judge’s return,” the city charter states. 

Qualifications are also outlined. Germantown judges must be at least 30 years old, a resident of the city for one year and a Tennessee resident for at least five years. 

Patterson is a local attorney with more than 30 years of experience. He has served the city as judge when a substitute is needed. Huisman said Patterson is one of a few individuals who serve as a substitute when necessary.

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“He’s used to already serving in that capacity as-needed and he meets all the requirements,” Huisman added of Patterson.

It is unclear when Clift will return, Huisman noted.

Germantown has traffic and criminal court weekly and juvenile court twice per month. The suburb’s two judges rotate. 


Germantown Municipal Court Germantown Municipal Court Raymond Clift Jr. Robert Brannon Kevin Patterson
Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren is a lifelong resident of Shelby County and a graduate of the University of Memphis. She has worked for several local publications and covers the suburbs for The Daily Memphian.


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